It is crucial while traveling that you have something great to read.
While on the road with Leslie and Caleb last month, we stopped at Barnes and Noble on our second day, mostly to enjoy air conditioning, but also to sit and be quiet with our respective books for a few hours. I picked up Anna Karenina and plowed through the introduction (I’m currently stuck somewhere around page 310, you know, the page when a normal novel finishes), Caleb found himself a graphic novel and got absolutely engrossed in it, and Leslie doodled, wrote letters, and glanced at a few selections from various shelves.
But what reunited us from our individual literary endeavors was the book “Stuff Christians Like.” It has a bright yellow cover and it (almost) literally jumped off the shelf at me. I brought it over to show them, we read the first page of the introduction, and we immediately designated it our official road trip book. The deal was that we could only read it out loud in the car when all three of us were traveling together. For the days when we were separate in the car, there was absolutely no reading ahead. Caleb STRICTLY enforced this rule. After four weeks of travel we arrived in Stoughton, Wisconsin at Caleb’s house and we had about forty pages remaining, which we very appropriately finished together reading it aloud in Caleb’s kitchen before I departed for my drive to Missouri.
The thing about this book is that 1) it’s hilarious 2) it’s 99.9% accurate and 3) it’s not funny to Catholics because it mostly just makes fun of the ridiculous things that Protestants do. Jon Acuff is the author, a member of a mega church in Atlanta, and he also maintains a blog at, predictably . . . stuffchristianslike.net (click on link at right if interested). For all of you wondering, yes it started as a take-off of “Stuff White People Like,” but it’s just as good, if not better. I don’t really think he needs for me to plug his book or his blog because based on the number of comments (approximately 200 times my amount of comments per post) he is wildly popular already. I have, however, been surprised by the number of people in the Northwest who I have mentioned him to who have never heard of him or his book. Mostly, I would like to thank Jon for causing me to laugh so hard that I cried by the time I was on page 15 (and many other times) and for helping the many many miles across the country go much faster than I thought possible (maybe Caleb’s driving had something to do with that as well :-p)
Reading hilarious books aloud is nothing new to me and my friends though. My friends and I were once the wild campers at Camp Ghormley who spent our cabin clean up time everyday after breakfast reading Bill Bryson’s I’m A Stranger Here Myself. We were heading into 9th grade in the fall; obviously we were the coolest campers there . . . We even tried to read one of his essays aloud instead of creating our own skit to share with the rest of camp. I can simply summarize how that situation played out by saying that we were the only ones laughing, on stage, in front of a silent/confused audience. Clearly we were just ahead of our time!
Since returning to Seattle, Stuff Christians Like has been read aloud at our family dinner table, shared during happy hour, and explained to many others. Please enjoy. And don’t forget to pick up a funny book next time you travel, because who doesn’t need a laugh when navigating America’s transit systems?!